Article 5: Supporting a Loved-One with Borderline Personality Disorder
People with Borderline Personality Disorder are highly sensitive, emotionally immature, and, at times, abusive. To be in a relationship with someone who has BPD requires a great deal of strength, patience, understanding, caring, and sometimes self-sacrifice.
Recovery is significantly faster and at higher rates for people that are supported by family (as opposed to those isolated and on their own). But very little is intuitive, and anyone supporting a loved one needs to be trained. For example, except in extreme circimstances, you should not protect the person affected by Borderline Personality Disorder from the natural consequences of their actions. According to Dr. John Gunderson, MD, it is important to allow them to fail in a loving way - to learn about reality.
Defining and constructively enforcing limitations is important, too. You set them by stating them in advance in clear, simple language. Too often, people assume that the person with BPD should know and respect their limits as any other adult would. This is not a realitic assumption for people with this disorder. This five part guide was written by John G. Gunderson, MD, author of the clinical textbook "Psychotherapy for Personality Disorders."
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